James keeps it in the family as he heads for golfing showpiece event

James Whatley will tee off at the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship next week with his mother-in-law as caddy.

The PGA coach, who runs the East Midlands Golf Academy at Morley Hayes Golf Club, will rely on some family help in the £78,000 showpiece, which is being staged at De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland from June 11-14.

The 72-hole championship, which is supported by Peugeot, will also determine the 2013 Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team to face the United States also at Slaley Hall in September.

Whatley, who was joint seventh last year at De Vere Carden Park, played in the 2007 PGA Cup team in Georgia, which narrowly lost out on retaining the trophy by half a point.

The 30-year-old goes into the Glenmuir fresh from competing in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and will make the most of family ties when he travels to the North East.

“My wife comes from Gateshead and her family live up there so I’ll be staying with them rather than at a hotel and in fact my mother-in-law Jackie will be caddying for me,” he said.

“She’s a golfer and plays off around 13 so it’ll be good to have a familiar face with me during the event.”

While Whatley has PGA Cup experience, and would love to make a second appearance for his country, he is refusing to look too far ahead.

“I don’t want to get wrapped up in thinking about the PGA Cup too much. I made the team in 2007 and was desperate to get back there in 2009 but it affected my game and it’s like playing under added pressure all the time.

“However, my form’s been good, and although I didn’t make the cut at Wentworth I played well but just couldn’t putt.

“The style of the Glenmuir event suits me.

“I’m also looking to do well in the Midlands Order of Merit again and maybe do better in the end of season play-offs to maybe secure a couple more European Tour events for next year.”

“But I’d go insane if I played all the time and I still like to get involved on the coaching side - it’s a case of juggling the two but I don’t mind that.”